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One of the finest fantasy novels I haven’t yet finished reading is Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. (The reason why I haven’t is that the book is going with me to the Other City, and so very few books are.) I wonder why there isn’t more conversation/fannishness about this novel among the circles I access. Of course, it’s a story that is painfully slow to unveil its core. There are few stereotypes. The narrative reads like a history text — thorough and unforeseeable. And did I mention ‘thorough’? The construction of the early nineteenth century is so delicious! At the end of Part One I am still sighing with some fondness over Childermass, even though Childermass may not turn out to be the expected Byronic hero or even a character of any consequence at all in the entirety of the narrative.

In other news, today I cleansed my toenails of the remnants of nail-polish that had been chipping away gently for the last two months. The charm of tinting one’s nails continues to evade me. To watch it dissolve and the natural translucence of nail emerge from underneath was an exercise in deep happiness. Now I shall go offline and re-watch the second book of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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